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Choosing the right journal

Close-up photo of a stack of journals.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a journal. Think about where your readers are. Where will your article get the most impact? Consider the journal’s estimated time from article submission to publication and the journal’s publication frequency.

You need to check where your chosen journal is indexed. Many of the large subject databases, such as Web of Science, have good quality control. In most subject areas, there are databases with quality control for both peer review and editorial work.

For more general information about journals, and in which databases they are indexed, we recommend the Ulrichweb database (search the journal’s name and go to abstracting and indexing).

Databases of scientific journals

The Web of Science database contains about 21,000 scientific journals. In medicine and science, this database has good coverage in general, while the humanities and some of the social sciences are not represented well. Web of Science also include Journal Citation Reports where you can search for suitable journals within a specific subject area and compare them based on citation metrics, including the journal's impact factor. The impact factor is an indicator of how frequently articles in the journal are cited.

Scopus contains over 23,000 scientific journals in natural sciences, life sciences, humanities and social sciences. The database also includes books, book chapters and conference articles. To search for journals in a specific subject area you use the link Sources on the Scopus main page. In the Enter Subject Area field you get a list of subject areas to choose from and check the box Apply. You can also limit your search by checking the box Display only Open Access journals.

Index for journals with publication with Open Access

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is a directory for high quality scientific open access journals, with over 15 000 journals. The criteria for inclusion in the directory cover transparency in the editorial process, the availability of the publications and the use of open licenses.

For more information about research support for open access publishing, the University Library's publisher agreements, and more, see the webpage Publish with open access.

Evaluation of scientific journals

Think. Check. Submit. is an international initiative to help researchers choose appropriate publication channels. Here you can find check lists to use when assessing scientific journals and publishers.

Do you find it difficult to determine the quality and legitimacy of a journal?

The University Library offers support and guidance if you have difficulties assessing the quality or legitimacy of a journal. On the webpage Beware of predatory journals you can find advice on how to determine if a journal is questionable or a possible predatory journal.

For more information, please contact:

Liz Holmgren

Position: Librarian School/office: University Library

Profile page: Liz Holmgren


Phone: +46 19 303464

Room: X1106

Liz Holmgren